Everton are in talks with Sporting CP star William Carvalho as the club look to kickstart an overhaul of their squad this summer, according to reports.
The Portugal international has been linked with a move to the Premier League for a number of years but Sporting have always stood firm on their steep asking price for the defensive midfielder.
Recent unrest at the club, however, appears to have opened the door for a number of first team regulars in Lisbon to secure moves elsewhere in Europe, with the likes of Rui Patrício, Bas Dost and Gelson Martins all tipped to leave the Estádio José Alvalade this summer.
Carvalho is also seeking a move away from the club this summer and Everton's director of football Marcel Brands has already contacted the midfielder as the Toffees look to capitalise on Sporting's rumoured mass exit, according to Portugues outlet A Bola (via talkSPORT).
Looking at William Carvalho’s stats they dont really jump off the page as what we need for our box to box midfielder. He was only succesful in 50% of his dribbling attempts. Only made 16 key passes and only assisted one goals for the whole season. We need more than that— Nil satis nisi optimum (@Amcgregor21) May 31, 2018
It had been suggested that long-term admirers West Ham would be the frontrunners for his signature this summer but Everton appear to have leapfrogged their domestic rivals in their pursuit of Carvalho.
The 26-year-old will be travelling to Russia this summer so a deal ahead of the World Cup seems unlikely at this stage, but contact between Carvalho and Brands could fast-track a move later in the transfer window.
The arrival of Brands, a former chief at Dutch side PSV Eindhoven, coupled with the appointment of Marco Silva as the club's new manager already appears to be a positive step for Everton as they look to break into the Premier League's six-team hierarchy.